The Marine Research Centre in Sea Point used to be home to something very different around 1910. It was originally the Queen’s beach train station, where trams would start their ride to Camps Bay.
According to the Cape Town History Group on Facebook, this explains why the road is so straight.
“Where the Marine Research Centre is now built, this is where the train station was. This was the end of the line. This is also where the tram service started to Camps Bay along what is now the road through Clifton,” Conor Hughes posted to the group.
“Today the road passes either side of the Marine Research Centre, in front of the Peninsula Hotel. The bus stop that is now opposite the hotel is today called ‘Queens Beach Station’, possibly a homage to the old train station that once occupied this location.”
What is today known as Beach Road was actually the railway line leading from Queens Beach along the Green Point Stadium and into the Cape Town city centre. There were five stops, and the railway line was ripped up in 1929, after 19 years of operation.
“Today the land between the road, and the beach still belongs to the original railway company, the shares of which are owned by the municipality,” Hughes said. “There was another station opposite the Sea Point Pavilion Swimming Pool, and today it is easy to imagine where the gentle curve of the road passes the pavilion to visualise the trains passing through 100 years ago.”